Blogs from Magallanes, Chile, South America

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South America » Chile » Magallanes January 2nd 2020

We sailed though Glacier Alley in the Beagle Channel after leaving Ushuaia yesterday. The weather was misty with a freezing cold wind. Colder than anything we've had so far, although it may have been because the temperature got up to 20 in the afternoon and we all thought we didn't need antarctic clothes any more. We knew there were 5 glaciers, all named after countries so had to stay out side as we counted them off. The first four went past and we had to wait a while for the fifth which was the most spectacular - a hanging glacier with a torrent of water cascading out from under the ice splitting in two as it reached an outcrop and carried on to the sea. It's a pity it was so misty as the photos are ... read more
Close up of the face of it
The ferry that goes between Ushuaia and Punta Arenas
Glacier 2

South America » Chile » Magallanes December 21st 2019

I have always wanted to see December Solstice in the southern hemisphere. Growing up in North America, December 21 was always so short and this year I decided to experience as long of a day as possible on December 21. In Punta Arenas the sun rose at 5:12am and set at 10:10pm. Of course, being so far south it got light long before 5am and was light out until well after 11pm. It was exactly what I was hoping for! I had planned three tours with https://turismoselknam.cl from Punta Arenas: Magdalena Island, Tierra del Fuego and whale watching. The day before the whale watching it was cancelled due to predicted high winds, which I gather is quite common that close to Antarctica. Fortunately, I was able to replace it with a day in the Torres del ... read more
King Penguins in Tierra del Fuego
King Penguins Incubating Eggs
Flamingoes and Andean Geese

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Torres del Paine November 7th 2019

R: Today was a day of multiple walks. The weather was only slightly better than yesterday and was still cold and windy. We were heading to Lago Grey today, so after much the same breakfast as yesterday, we boarded the bus and were on our way. It was about 40 minutes to get to Grey ranger station where there is also a visitor centre. The group had been split today as many people who were not used to hiking had decided to go for the easy walk option around the lake. Me? Well, no. I went in the advanced party of 4 who went to tackle the Ferrier lookout. We were promised amazing views over numerous lakes, and a very steep climb! We set off from the visitors centre with our guide Mauricio, Sergio (the Swiss ... read more
Lago Grey Icebergs
Lago Pehoe
Lago Pehoe and the view behind

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Torres del Paine November 6th 2019

R: Today was our first big walk. With alarms set to 6am, we were up and moving. Chef had prepared us a huge breakfast of scrambled eggs and bacon with toast, accompanied by yoghurts and much strong coffee in a large kettle which was resting in the camp fire. For the next few days we would be provided with lunch options before we set off for hikes and a table had been set up in one of the lean-to shelters on the campsite with bread rolls, sliced meat, cheese, salad and huge bowls of smashed avocados and mayonnaise - a make your own sandwich buffet. Plus trail mix, chocolate and fruit. The amount of avocados in the bowl in the UK would have cost about £30 - but in South America, it was probably a much ... read more
The two person rope bridge
Windy Gap and Pass
Horse Caravan

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Torres del Paine November 5th 2019

The next morning we were up early and out. It was raining quite a bit now so heading into the national park seemed a bit flat. But people were still enthusiastic so that was good. We travelled on a bright yellow, private overland vehicle. My sub-section of the group ended up at the "party" end of the bus which had train style tables and access to the music and USB ports. The bus came equipped with UNO and various other card games so we whiled away a few hours playing games, and getting to know each other. The bus was really comfy for long journeys however it did have little in the way of heating so the windows misted up with the rain beating against them so it was hard to see out. We stopped at ... read more
Lago Pehoe
Flamingos in the greyness
Setting up camp

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Punta Arenas November 4th 2019

R: So this blog is going to be a bit of a slow burner. I also forgot to mention - I found a Hindu temple in Punta Arenas - who knew? The next day started with a 6am start. Kevin from Canada, who I had sat with last night was conspicuously absent - he had swapped his steak for a crab lasagne last night with someone else who had ordered wrongly - turns out it was poison! So not a good start for the group as we were down one already. We were supposed to be heading out to an island where there was a penguin colony to see. However, the weather was against us (apparently). Although it seemed quite calm in Punta Arenas, apparently there was plenty of wind over at the island and the ... read more
Patagonia Landscapes
Patagonian Wildlife
Condor in Flight

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Punta Arenas November 1st 2019

Really early start today 😫 - breakfast at 6.15am and I’m up well before worrying about getting the stupid cases shut. Shove everything in and Rodolfo is ready and waiting to take us to the bus station at 6.30am. So nice to see him and say goodbye. He was fun to be around and had great playlists on our drives! We’re on Bus Sur this time. Not the luxury double decker we’re used to, but it’s comfortable, warm (nice!) and has overhead usb chargers which is handy. Unfortunately it also has piped audio linked to a tv screen at the front which is on an endless 5 minute loop of ads and music. David lasts about 30 minutes then goes to the front to ask the conductor to turn it off, which he does - phew. ... read more
Views towards the sea from the older barrios
Rent-a-Stray
Anti-Piñera signs

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Punta Arenas November 1st 2019

R: So it has taken me a while to get round to the blog for this with Christmas in the way, but I took a lot of notes when I was away on this trip so I hope I can re-create the experience for you. The next 10 days was going to be a whirlwind trip to Patagonia - somewhere we failed to get to on our world trip. This time I was travelling solo (being in term time so Cate couldn't join, plus it involved a lot of hiking, which Cate is not a fan of). So on Friday 1st November, I headed to Heathrow after work, rucksack packed, seemingly with too much stuff for my 10 day trip. I would be camping on this trip so there was more to think about than on ... read more
Street Art
Plaza des Armes
Magellan Strait

South America » Chile » Magallanes October 31st 2019

After a good night's sleep Maia’s back on form - hurray! We have breakfast, pack up our stuff and wait for the kayak van to arrive. It’s an absolutely beautiful, clear, sunny day - the best so far. We are able to enjoy some of the views that have eluded us so far. The Rio Serrano area where we’ve been staying at Nash Lodge for 3 nights is very quiet, with only a few places to stay, but we can imagine that it will soon become developed. Nash is building 20 more rooms and we see workers putting in fence posts elsewhere, getting ready to demarcate the land. We hang out with the cows and a dog outside in the sunshine and have a chat with some of the staff from Nash Lodge - Carolina the ... read more
Grey Hotel
Dwarfed by the icebergs on Lago Grey
Icebergs with Paine Grande in the background

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Torres del Paine October 29th 2019

Got up to pop to the loo at around midnight. Comment to anyone who’s listening that the sky is full of stars. Am just having a wee when there’s the sound of a bucketful of water hitting the floor! Maia has been violently sick, stumbles into the bathroom and delivers another load into the sink as I’m on the loo. Awesome! Try to put the light on, but there’s no electricity. Try to flush the loo but there’s no water. David is up and puts the mobile phone light on. Maia and I are trapped in the bathroom by a sea of sick. David throws me a pair of socks so I can try to hop over it back into the bedroom. I go downstairs in the hope or finding someone who can give me some ... read more
New Forest + snow capped mountains
Glorious sunset




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